World Obesity is pleased to announce that Desiderata Institute, a non-profit organisation headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, has been approved as an Associate Member. The organisation works in the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity in Brazil and is also dedicated to tackling childhood cancer.
Desiderata Institute is a non-profit organisation that has been working for the past 18 years in improving public healthcare for children and adolescents in Rio de Janeiro. Under the umbrella of NCDs and its risk factors, Desiderata promotes early diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer and has a major interest in the challenges posed by childhood obesity.
In Brazil, one in three children have excess weight (overweight or obesity). The situation in the state of Rio de Janeiro is particularly concerning, with numbers above the national average in all child and adolescent age groups, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Desiderata makes reference to the excessive consumption of ultra-processed food products, the advertising of unhealthy foods aimed at children and adolescents, and physical inactivity, as the principal factors in the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, underscoring the need to develop public policies to ensure the right of children to healthier food environments and eating habits.
In this context, Desiderata Institute organises a number of campaigns and seminars to raise awareness on childhood obesity, aiming to stimulate discussion between experts and civil society on the subject and implementation of strategies to mitigate its effects. As part of its mission to disseminate evidence-based information on childhood obesity to support public policies, the Institute also publishes its ‘Panorama of Obesity’, with data on obesity prevalence in Brazil and thought pieces by leading academics.
Raphael Barreto, Coordinator of Childhood Obesity, welcomed the organisation’s affiliation to World Obesity Federation: “It is a privilege for Desiderata to become part of this group, among organizations and leaders that have such an important role in facing obesity around the world. It is a singular opportunity for us to learn from other experiences and join forces to overcome this public health problem and its serious consequences”.